MONROE — A Toledo woman who Michigan authorities allege stole for years from a Monroe County credit union was charged Thursday with crimes associated with the theft of $2.1 million.
Sharon Broadway, 61, appeared in Monroe County’s First District Court, where she pleaded not guilty to one count each of financial institution embezzlement and racketeering. She was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond and was scheduled to appear Dec. 7 in 38th Circuit Court. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
According to information released by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, Ms. Broadway was the “manager, secretary, board member, and sole employee” of United Catholic Credit Union in Temperance. She is accused of embezzling more than $2 million from the credit union since 1985 — money that she then is accused of using as personal funds.
“Michigan families deserve to know that their money is safe when they make deposits into licensed financial institutions,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said in statement released Thursday. “Our office will continue to work with [the state Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation] to ensure that criminals attempting to manipulate the system are brought to justice.”
Ms. Broadway could not be reached for comment.
The attorney general’s office said the charges against Ms. Broadway evolved from a routine examination by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. In particular, the review showed a substantial number of certificates of deposits were not recorded in the credit union’s financial books.
Authorities allege that as sole employee of the credit union, Ms. Broadway used a “complex money laundering scheme involving multiple aliases and forged checks” to hide the thefts over the years.
According to Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the credit union served more than 200 members belonging to local Catholic parishes. Chartered in 1961, the credit union was closed Aug. 9 and a receiver, the National Credit Union Administration, was appointed.
The credit union had $303,000 in assets and a net loss in 2011 of $1,000. It reported no nonperforming loans as of June 30, 2012, according to BauerFinancial Inc., of Coral Gables, Fla.
At the time of the credit union’s closing, the state issued a statement saying that United Catholic Credit Union was “operating in an unsafe and unsound manner and is insolvent.” The state further said that examiners “found instances of alleged criminal activities.”
Because the credit union was federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, member deposits were protected up to $250,000.
Attorney Lorin Zaner said his client was declining requests for interviews. He added he hopes to have the case resolved soon. “We’re working on a plea agreement and we’re hoping to get it put together at the next court date,” he said.
Contact Erica Blake at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.